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Behind The Design - Pultixima - Driftoff!

Following from DHXP's behind the scene look at the artwork, Pultixima's recent single Driftoff! is a suitable connection point (And not just because both artists are fabulous members of Indie Music Feedback).

The reason being that it followed a similar process of discovery in the artwork style, but in reverse where we started off with an exploration of pure illustrative and then moved towards a graphic & photo combination. Pultixima had a keen image in mind from the off, down to the dominant colour & composition, and from then it was a case of exploring the mediums available and determining which would be best suited.

We were going up into space!

Illustration was something we were keen to try, given the outset of the brief to have an astronaut playing a guitar. This is something I felt would look more controlled if we created the character from the ground up. While there are shots of real astronauts out there that are freely available (Thanks NASA!) , I don't think they're in the habit of bringing Gibson guitars up there for sick promo shots (Space is radical!).

So after some initial cat-related delays, we got to work designing our character floating through space, adrift and alone, with a guitar strapped around them.

One element of this was to have the astronauts cable/tube from the suit and the guitar, to float upward through a dominant triangle as a loose line of symmetry. Though Pultixima wasn't sure entirely on whether they wanted this idea of theirs included, and so we decided to remove it as we went toward digital versions to see what we thought at the time.

Initial sketches of the astronaut figure.

Here is where I then took a little liberty and flipped the triangle upside down for the digital template.

Just as a style to see what Pultixima thought about it, as a way to 'shape' the drawn astronaut within a wider shape so he could scale up in size. That though, in fairness, did contrast with the notion of drifting, weightless, in the vast emptiness of space.

The relaxed post of the astronaut without the guitar though was significantly preferred to express the calm contentedness. Embracing the chaos, as it were!

So we switched tack to take this overall colour palette, but shrinking down a reduced colour astronaut, and flipping the triangle.

Then it became a case of figuring out the best type style. We experimented with a few wavier styles along these lines...

But harsh contrast was the order of the day, and so solid text was the clearest way to go!

Given then, that the project itself was a collaboration of Pultixima, Barabbas T Jones, LOHM, and Bug, we determined it was better to have them listed along the top edge in a suitable type instead of using the artist logo.

This results in our final cover art as below!

The track is also a certified banger and you should listen to it, like it, and follow Pultixima on Spotify!

You can find Pultixima here on Instagram and here on Spotify.

If you're looking for a cover art designer, my services are available and you can get in touch with me directly on my website or my own Instagram at JBCoverArt.

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